Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/432

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Hicks
Higinbotham
420

grant from the British Association, Hicks succeeded during the next year in discovering as many as thirty species in the lower Cambrian beds. Afterwards he extended his researches from these basement beds upwards to the great mass of early palaeozoic strata by which they are overlain. Though his professional work did not suffer from his geological ardour, he decided in 1871 to avail himself of an opportunity of practising at Hendon, Middlesex. About six years later he was able to restrict himself to mental disease, when he became the head of an asylum for ladies thus afflicted. This was ultimately located at Hendon Grove. Being now freed from the interruptions of ordinary practice, he extended the range of his geological work, investigating with characteristic ardour the earliest and the latest chapters in the geological history the rock masses which underlie the base of the Cambrian system, and the glacial and later deposits, some of which were close to his home. He was active in scientific organisations, especially the British Association, the Geologists' Association, and the Geological Society; of the second he was president from 1883 to 1885; of the third he was secretary from 1890 to 1893, and president from 1896 to 1898, being a vice-president at the time of his death. By that society he was awarded the Bigsby medal in 1883. He was elected F.R.S. on 4 June 1885. He was no less active in local affairs, taking part in sanitary and educational movements, the work of the church of England, and the organisation of the conservative party. He died on 18 Nov. 1899. He married, in February 1864, Mary, only daughter of P. D. Richardson, vicar of St. Dogwells, Pembrokeshire, who, with three daughters (married), survived him.

As a geologist Hicks was singularly acute, both in eye and mind. The more difficult a problem, the greater its attraction for him. But he was sometimes a little too quick in publishing his conclusions; for while his main idea has commonly proved to be right, important details have had to be corrected. But his work, like himself, was always stimulative. As may be inferred, he was often involved in controversy, but he seemed to enjoy an intellectual battle, the stress of which never ruffled the course of friendship for more than a moment, so that his death, in the full vigour of his powers, was not only a loss to science but also to numerous friends. A portrait in oils, by F. Valence, is in possession of the family.

Hicks wrote, in addition to a few medical papers, not less than sixty-three on geological subjects, published chiefly in the 'Reports of the British Association,' the 'Geological Magazine,' the 'Proceedings of the Geologists' Association,' and the 'Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society.' These may be grouped under the following heads: (1) The earlier palaeozoic strata of Pembrokeshire, where, as already stated, he proved the lower Cambrian rocks to be fossiliferous, and separated them into two divisions. (2) The beds underlying certain conglomerates at St. David's and in North Wales, which in his opinion mark the base of the Cambrian. (3) The geology of the Scotch highlands. (4) Papers on glacial and post-glacial deposits, especially on the discovery of mammoth remains in London (Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. xlviii. 453), and on the exploration of caves at Ffynnon Beuno and Cae Gwyn, North Wales, the contents of which he maintained to be pre-glacial. (5) The latest in date, on the geology of North Devonshire. Hicks was the first to discover fossils in the Morte slates, which he identified as Silurian.

[Obituary notices in Nature, lxi. 109; Catalogue of Scientific Papers of the Royal Society; Geological Magazine, 1899, p. 574; Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. 1900, Proc. lviii.; information from the family, and personal knowledge.]

T. G. B.

HIGINBOTHAM, GEORGE (1826–1892), chief justice of Victoria, was the sixth son of Henry T. Higinbotham of Dublin, and Sarah, daughter of Joseph Wilson, at one time American consul in Dublin. He was born in Dublin on 19 April 1826, and educated at the Royal School, Dungannon, whence he went to Trinity College, Dublin, with a Queen's scholarship in 1844, graduating B.A. in 1848 and M.A. in 1853. Early in 1847 he went to London, and, to fill up time when reading for the bar, he became a reporter on the 'Morning Chronicle;' he entered at Lincoln's Inn on 20 April 1848, was called on 6 June 1853, and within a few months sailed for Victoria, where he arrived early in 1854.

In Victoria Higinbotham again combined the law and journalism; he was admitted to the local bar on 27 March 1854, and after a brief period of anxiety began to get briefs regularly, writing occasionally at the same time for the 'Morning Herald.' In August 1856 he became editor of the 'Argus,' and for a time did little or nothing at the bar. In 1859 he resigned the editorship in order to devote himself more fully to his profession.

In May 1861 Higinbotham entered upon political life, being elected a member for Brighton in the legislative assembly. He described himself as an independent liberal. In 1862 he lost his seat, but in 1863 was